United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0083893 - HQ 0083978 > HQ 0083971

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 083971

July 31, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083971 DC


TARIFF NO.: 3923.10.0000

Ms. Carol A. Garrity
Sales Administrator
Garrett-Hewitt International, Inc.
901 Broadway
Suite 16
North White Plains, New York 10603

RE: Tariff classification of a plastic compact with or without a mirror

Dear Ms. Garrity:

Your letter dated November 23, 1988, addressed to our New York office concerning the tariff classification of a plastic compact with or without a mirror made in Taiwan, has been referred to this office for a direct reply to you. A sample was submitted for examination.


The sample compact measures 3-1/8 inches by 3-1/4 inches and is made of injection molded plastics. A mirror is fitted to its inside cover. After importation the compact will be filled with some type of cosmetics.


Does the compact have an outer surface of plastic sheeting

Does the mirror or the plastic material impart the essential character to the sample?


It has been suggested that this merchandise has an outer surface of plastic sheeting and is, therefore, classifiable under subheading 4202.32.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United

States Annotated (HTSUSA), as articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of plastic sheeting, other.

Various dictionaries define the words "sheet" and "sheeting" as follows:

The Random House Dictionary of the English language (1983):
sheet 2. a broad, relatively thin, surface, layer or covering. 3. a relatively thin, usually rectangular form, piece, plate, or slab as of photographic film, glass, metal, etc.
sheeting 1. the act of covering with or forming into a sheet or sheets

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1986):
sheet 5: A broad thinly expanded portion of metal or other substance.
sheeting 1: a material in the form of sheets *** b: material (as a plastic) in the form of continuous film

See also Sekisui Products, Inc. v. United States, 63 Cust. Ct. 123, C.D. 3885 (1969) which cites the Webster's definition of "sheets" with approval.

It is our position that the above-cited definitions require a finding that an article which is made directly from a mass of plastic which never becomes a "sheet" or "sheeting" and which never has a "sheet" or "sheeting" applied to its surface cannot be classified under subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA.

It is also our view that a compact with a mirror is a composite good the classification of which is governed by General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), HTSUSA. This rule provides that under certain circumstances composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. We find that the plastic component gives the sample compact with a mirror its essential character.

As to whether compacts are articles for the conveyance of packing of goods, we note that the Explanatory Notes for heading 3923, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers all articles of
plastics commonly used for packing or conveyance of all kinds of products. Inasmuch as the subject compact is a case used to convey cosmetics, it is classifiable under subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, as articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics: boxes, cases, crates and similar articles.


The compact with or without a mirror, is classifiable under subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, and dutiable at the rate of 3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: